Tanzanian fintech company ClickPesa has expanded to Europe by opening an office in London, through which it hopes to establish partnerships to facilitate faster and cheaper cross-border remittances.
Launched in 2016 by Richard Lema and Rick Groothuizen, ClickPesa provides a set of digital payment services for businesses, with a focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The goal of the expansion into Europe is to build key partnerships to ease international payments for companies in Africa. ClickPesa has also enrolled into the United Kingdom (UK) government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP), with its expansion assisted by the Department of International Trade (DIT).
“DIT has given us a smooth landing and has been very helpful in assisting us in the setup as a non-UK company. Registration of a company is very quick, but setting up operations always takes time, especially being new in a country,” Groothuizen said.
“DIT has a large team of specialists and with their assistance we were able to setup operations in a couple of months instead of the 9-12 months we initially expected.”
The startup is also planning to expand into other East African countries soon too, and has planned a funding round for later this year. Its existing Dar es Salaam office has now become its East Africa regional office, with the UK office acting as a headquarters.
Groothuizen said establishing a base in London was a logical decision.
“The UK offers a large selection of financial partners to work with for cross-border payments, acts as the largest forex exchange market worldwide and also has many other opportunities such as the SEIS/EIS scheme for investors. It made it a very attractive location for us,” he said.
UK minister for investment Graham Stuart said ClickPesa’s decision to relocate to the UK demonstrated the strength and appeal of the country’s fintech sector and the support DIT can provide to international businesses looking to invest in the UK.
“Fintech was one of the UK’s best performing sectors in 2019. We want to continue this trend and ensure that the UK is the best place for companies to expand.”